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Archive for Sunday, August 31, 2008

Top 25 Roundup: Ohio State cruises, 43-0, but RB Wells injured

August 31, 2008

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Ohio State running back Chris Wells reacts as trainers check on his injury during the third quarter. Despite the injury, Ohio State ripped Youngstown State, 43-0, on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.

Ohio State running back Chris Wells reacts as trainers check on his injury during the third quarter. Despite the injury, Ohio State ripped Youngstown State, 43-0, on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.

Columbus, Ohio - An eerie silence descended on Ohio Stadium when Ohio State's Heisman Trophy prospect Chris "Beanie" Wells went down with a foot injury in the third quarter of Ohio State's 43-0 rout of Youngstown State.

The star tailback was hurt in the third quarter after taking a handoff from Todd Boeckman on first and goal at the Youngstown State 2. His feet slipped underneath him as he planted to make a cut, with the ball rolling free as he hit the turf.

Wells was helped off the field, and later returned to the bench in the fourth quarter wearing a boot on his right foot. X-rays showed no broken bones, the team said.

Before the injury, Wells ran for 111 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown run.

The Penguins rushed 21 times for minus-11 yards. Youngstown State has never scored a touchdown in four games against teams from Bowl Championship Series conferences.

No. 1 Georgia 45, Georgia Southern 21

Athens, Ga. - The collar fit, and for at least one game, so did the crown.

Knowshon Moreno ran for three touchdowns and Georgia, ranked No. 1 to start a season for the first time, beat Georgia Southern 45-21 on Saturday to give new mascot Uga VII a win in his debut.

Moreno needed only eight carries for 59 yards to tie his career best with three touchdowns. He added two catches for 53 yards.

Matthew Stafford threw two touchdown passes and was 13-for-21 passing for a career-high 275 yards.

No. 3 USC 52, Virginia 7

Charlottesville, Va. - Mark Sanchez threw three touchdown passes in his first game as Southern California's true No. 1 quarterback and the third-ranked Trojans rolled over Virginia.

The Trojans led, 21-0, after just 11 minutes and weren't tested, allowing coach Pete Carroll to keep things simple in advance of a home game against No. 2 Ohio State in two weeks.

No. 5 Florida 56, Hawaii 10

Gainesville, Fla. - Even without injured speedster Percy Harvin (heel) and linebacker Brandon Spikes (toe), Florida dominated every aspect and handed Greg McMackin a lopsided loss in his debut as Hawaii's head coach.

Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow was 9-of-14 passing for 137 yards and a touchdown. He ran nine times for 37 yards, most of them scrambles behind spotty protection.

No. 7 LSU 41, Appalachian State 13

Baton Rouge, La. - With a couple of inexperienced quarterbacks, all LSU had to do was hand off. With that said, Appalachian State never had a chance at another upset.

Charles Scott rushed for a career-high 160 yards on 16 carries, including touchdowns of eight and 29 yards for LSU.

With Hurricane Gustav threatening the Gulf Coast, kickoff was moved up from 3 p.m. to 9 a.m. so the game would end well before authorities planned to initiate one-way traffic along major evacuation routes away from Louisiana's coast.

No. 8 West Virginia 48, Villanova 21

Morgantown, W.Va. - Pat White threw a career-high five touchdown passes and West Virginia beat Villanova, giving Rich Rodriguez's replacement, Bill Stewart, a successful regular-season debut.

No. 24 Alabama 34, No. 9 Clemson 10

Atlanta, Ga. - Nick Saban's plan to bring No. 24 Alabama back to prominence looks way ahead of schedule. As for No. 9 Clemson, another big game ended with the Tigers on the losing end.

The Crimson Tide had little trouble rolling past Clemson at the Georgia Dome on Saturday night, the biggest victory in coach Saban's two seasons at Alabama.

Alabama's defense held Clemson to zero rushing yards and John Parker Wilson threw for two touchdowns as Alabama beat a top-10 opponent for the first time since topping No. 5 Florida in 2005. That was part of the last hurrah for former coach Mike Shula, who followed that 10-2 season with a 6-7 campaign that ended his time with the Tide.

No. 10 Auburn 34, Louisiana-Monroe 0

Auburn, Ala. - Ben Tate ran for 115 yards on 13 carries and Auburn scored touchdowns on defense and special teams.

The Tigers scarcely needed to pass in debuting Tony Franklin's new spread offense, resorting to a still punishing ground game (321 yards).

No. 13 Wisconsin 38, Akron 17

Madison, Wis. - P.J. Hill ran for 210 yards and two touchdowns, but No. 13 Wisconsin needed a pair of third-quarter scores to shake free from pesky Akron.

It was the second career game of more than 200 yards rushing for Hill, who gained more than 1,200 yards in each of his first two seasons with the Badgers despite injuries.

Allan Evridge was 7-of-10 for 75 yards with a touchdown and an interception in his debut as the Badgers' starter.

"You want to show them that it's going to be a long day," Hill said. "It's not going to be easy. Badger football - we play physical football, straight at you. Nothing too fancy. Eventually it's going to wear you down."

No. 16 BYU 41, Northern Iowa 17

Provo, Utah - Max Hall threw for 486 yards and two touchdowns and BYU overcame four turnovers in the second half.

The Cougars extended the longest winning streak in the nation to 11, but struggled to put away the Championship Subdivision Panthers after taking a 27-3 halftime lead.

UNI converted two of BYU's three fumbles in the third quarter into touchdowns and got within 27-17, stifling every opportunity the Cougars had to put the game away until the fourth quarter.

Harvey Unga ran for two touchdowns and Dennis Pitta caught 11 passes for a career-best 213 yards for BYU.

UNI's Pat Grace took a beating in his first college start and finished 11-for-18 for 112 yards.

East Carolina 27, No. 17 Virginia Tech 22

Charlotte, N.C. - T.J. Lee blocked a punt and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown with 1:52 left to help East Carolina stun No. 17 Virginia Tech.

The Pirates (1-0) came up with the big plays on defense and special teams in the end, scoring the game's final 15 points.

After East Carolina's Patrick Pinkney's 3-yard touchdown run with 3:36 left cut the deficit to 22-20, the Pirates stopped the Hokies' struggling offense. Lee burst through the line of scrimmage unblocked. He smothered Brent Bowden's punt, scooped up the ball on one bounce and ran into the end zone.

No. 19 South Florida 56, Tennessee-Martin 7

Tampa, Fla. - Matt Grothe threw for two first-half touchdowns and South Florida scored on its first four possessions and routed Tennessee-Martin.

Grothe threw TD passes of 18 and 22 yards to Jessie Hester and Mike Ford scored on runs of 4 and 6-yards, helping the Bulls build a 35-0 halftime lead. A 12-yard scoring run by Benjamin Williams finished a school-record 28-point first quarter.

No. 22 Penn State 66, Coastal Carolina 10

State College, Pa. - Joe Paterno tied Florida State's Bobby Bowden atop the career wins list for major college coaches.

Both Hall of Fame coaches now have 373 career wins apiece. The Seminoles don't open their season until next weekend.

Evan Royster ran for three touchdowns and 64 yards for Penn State.

Bowling Green 27, No. 25 Pitt 17

Pittsburgh - Tyler Sheehan ran 11 yards for a touchdown on a quarterback draw early in the fourth quarter as Bowling Green rallied to upset the Panthers.

The Falcons, with their second victory over a BCS conference school in as many season openers, bounced back from a 14-0 deficit for the first victory by a Mid-American Conference school in Pittsburgh. Pitt previously was 25-2 against the MAC, 8-0 in season openers and 24-0 at home.

"Unless you study the game, you don't understand the implications of a win like that," Falcons coach Gregg Brandon said. "We're not supposed to beat these people."

"Everybody just said, 'Why not us now, why wait?' " Falcons linebacker John Haneline said.

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